A.C. Grayling Famous Quotes & Sayings

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62 A.C. Grayling Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

A.C. Grayling Sayings: If the world is to have a future, it lies in the hands of women. If the world is to have a future, it lies in the hands of women. At time of this writing nearly half of all women in the Middle East are illiterate; millions in poor countries are shackled to the most basic daily urgencies of finding water and feeding children; the majority of the world's women exist in various forms of bondage to necessity, to poverty, and to men. (2007)
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: Christian churches and Muslim groups have no more right to have their say than women's Christian churches and Muslim groups have no more right to have their say than women's institutes or trades unions. The government has actively encouraged faith-based education, and therefore given a megaphone to religious voices and fundamentalists.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: And among them their satellites, on one of which is a part of nature that And among them their satellites, on one of which is a part of nature that mirrors nature in itself,
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: I believe that decisions about the timing and manner of death belong to the individual I believe that decisions about the timing and manner of death belong to the individual as a human right. I believe it is wrong to withhold medical methods of terminating life painlessly and swiftly when an individual has a rational and clear-minded sustained wish to end his or her life.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: Without free speech one cannot claim other liberties, or defend them when they are attacked. Without free speech one cannot claim other liberties, or defend them when they are attacked. Without free speech one cannot have a democratic process, which requires the statement and testing of policy proposals and party platforms. Without free speech one cannot have a due process at law, in which one can defend oneself, accuse, collect and examine evidence, make a case or refute one. Without free speech there cannot be genuine education and research, enquiry, debate, exchange of information, challenges to falsehood, questioning of governments, proposal and examination of opinion. Without free speech there cannot be a free press, which...is necessary...as one of the two essential estates of a free society (the other being an independent judiciary).
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: Religious apologists complain bitterly that atheists and secularists are aggressive and hostile in their criticism Religious apologists complain bitterly that atheists and secularists are aggressive and hostile in their criticism of them. I always say: look, when you guys were in charge, you didn't argue with us, you just burnt us at the stake. Now what we're doing is, we're presenting you with some arguments and some challenging questions, and you complain.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: the word God is typically invoked to denote the all-encompassing and unanswerable source of authority the word God is typically invoked to denote the all-encompassing and unanswerable source of authority governing what people can think, say, eat and wear, in what circumstances and with whom they can have sexual relations, how they must behave on specified days or weeks of the year, and so comprehensively on. The fact that different religions claim that their god or gods have different requirements in these respects should be evidence that religions are man-made and historically conditioned, but religious people think that this insight only applies to other people's religions, not their own
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: Look at the blogosphere - the biggest lavatory wall in the universe, a palimpsest of Look at the blogosphere - the biggest lavatory wall in the universe, a palimpsest of graffiti and execration.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: The notion that evil is non-rational is a more significant claim for Eagleton than at The notion that evil is non-rational is a more significant claim for Eagleton than at first appears, because he is (in this book [On Evil] as in others of his recent 'late period' prolific burst) anxious to rewrite theology: God (whom he elsewhere tells us is nonexistent, but this is no barrier to his being lots of other things for Eagleton too, among them Important) is not to be regarded as rational: with reference to the Book of Job Eagleton says, 'To ask after God's reasons for allowing evil, so [some theologians] claim, is to imagine him as some kind of rational or moral being, which is the last thing he is.' This is priceless: with one bound God is free of responsibility for 'natural evil' - childhood cancers, tsunamis that kill tens of thousands - and for moral evil also even though 'he' is CEO of the company that purposely manufactured its perpetrators; and 'he' is incidentally exculpated from blame for the hideous treatment meted out to Job.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must be silent' (T Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must be silent' (T
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: Humanism is the philosophy that you should be a good guest at the dinner table Humanism is the philosophy that you should be a good guest at the dinner table of life.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: I am putting together a secular bible. My Genesis is when the apple falls on I am putting together a secular bible. My Genesis is when the apple falls on Newton's head.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: That is one of the reasons why religion has survived into the modern world: it That is one of the reasons why religion has survived into the modern world: it tells people what to think and do, gratifying their reluctance to make the effort, or to take the risk, of achieving self-understanding and on that basis choosing a course that would be a fulfilling expression of their individual talents for living well. In wanting a quick answer to 'what should I do, how should I live?' people grab a one-size-fits-all model from a shelf in the ideas supermarket, and leave it at that.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: Eagleton has spent his life inside two mental boxes, Catholicism and Marxism, of both of Eagleton has spent his life inside two mental boxes, Catholicism and Marxism, of both of which he is a severe internal critic - that is, he frequently kicks and scratches at the inside of the boxes, but does not leave them. Neither are ideologies that loosen their grip easily, and people who need the security of adherence to a big dominating ideology, however much they kick and scratch but without daring to leave go, hold on to it every bit as tightly as it holds onto them. The result is of course strangulation, but alas not mutual strangulation: the ideology always wins.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: Perhaps worse still is what liberal societies might do to themselves in the face of Perhaps worse still is what liberal societies might do to themselves in the face of this new and different threat [of terrorism]. They begin, by small but dangerous increments, to cease to be as liberal as they once were. They begin to restrict their own hard-won rights and freedoms as a protection against the crminial minority who attempt (and as we thus see, by forcing liberty to commit suidcide, succed in doing) to terrorise society.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: It doesn't have to be the Grand Canyon, it could be a city street, it It doesn't have to be the Grand Canyon, it could be a city street, it could be the face of another human being - Everything is full of wonder.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: A mature society is one that reserves its moral outrage for what really matters: poverty A mature society is one that reserves its moral outrage for what really matters: poverty and preventable diseases in the third world, arms sales, oppression, injustice. Bad language and sex might offend some, who certainly have a right to complain; but they do not have a right to censor. They do not have to watch or listen if they are offended: they have an 'off' button on their television sets and radios. After all, it is morally outrageous that moral outrage should be used as an excuse to perpetrate the outrage of censorship on others.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: Inculcating the various competing - competing, note - falsehoods of the major faiths into small Inculcating the various competing - competing, note - falsehoods of the major faiths into small children is a form of child abuse, and a scandal.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: Try lighting your house by prayer instead of electricity and see which one works. Try lighting your house by prayer instead of electricity and see which one works.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: To believe something in the face of evidence and against reason - to believe something To believe something in the face of evidence and against reason - to believe something by faith - is ignoble, irresponsible and ignorant, and merits the opposite of respect,
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: It is a battle that intensely interests humanists (the International Humanist and Ethical Union is It is a battle that intensely interests humanists (the International Humanist and Ethical Union is one of the most responsible and persistent of the NGOs at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva27) because the concept of rights is so paradigmatically humanistic: when the instruments of the international Human Rights Bill were being forged, there was no claim that their terms and principles were drawn from anything other than human experience, nor that their observance would get anyone into heaven. No, the claim was then, and is now, only that their observance would make this world a vastly better place.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: If there is anything worth fearing in the world, it is living in such a If there is anything worth fearing in the world, it is living in such a way that gives one cause for regret in the end.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: I do not believe that there are any such things as gods and goddesses, for I do not believe that there are any such things as gods and goddesses, for exactly the same reasons as I do not believe there are fairies, goblins or sprites, and these reasons should be obvious to anyone over the age of ten.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: Middle age has been defined as what happens when a person's broad mind and narrow Middle age has been defined as what happens when a person's broad mind and narrow waist change places.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about, we must consign to silence' (T,
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: I once had a published written debate with a religious apologist who, after I had I once had a published written debate with a religious apologist who, after I had argued the standard line that the idea of a loving and merciful deity is inconsistent with the fact of natural evil, said this meant his god was not all-powerful, and therefore was not to blame because it could not stop natural evil from occuring. This is a different tack from the more robust one that says natural evil is a response to humanity's moral evil. What this latter view in effect argues is that because of (say) Hitler's wrongdoings, thousands of babies deserve to be drowned in tsunamis.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: The wise say that our failure is to form habits: for habit is the mark The wise say that our failure is to form habits: for habit is the mark of a stereotyped world,
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: A fault denied is twice committed. A fault denied is twice committed.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: Misuse of reason might yet return the world to pre-technological night; plenty of religious zealots Misuse of reason might yet return the world to pre-technological night; plenty of religious zealots hunger for just such a result, and are happy to use the latest technology to effect it.
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A.C. Grayling Sayings: Whereas the consolations of religion are mainly personal, the burdens are social and political as Whereas the consolations of religion are mainly personal, the burdens are social and political as well as personal.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Emotion is bad if it hinders the mind from thinking. Anemotion that opens the mind Emotion is bad if it hinders the mind from thinking. An
emotion that opens the mind to contemplate several
aspects of things at once is better than one that fixes
thought to an obsession.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: There is a beautiful and life-enhancing alternative outlook that offers insight, consolation, inspiration and meaning, There is a beautiful and life-enhancing alternative outlook that offers insight, consolation, inspiration and meaning, which has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with the best, most generous, most sympathetic understanding of human reality.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: It is a commonplace that every age, or almost every age, thinks that its own It is a commonplace that every age, or almost every age, thinks that its own time is one of special difficulty. The barbarians seem always to be at the gate. Alas, in our present day this is rather too literally so. But what many fail to realise is that the barbarians are a more various and numerous group than just those unspeakable villains who behead hostages in the desert. Barbarians might also wear ties and travel business class, they might occupy seats of power in government. They might be us, ourselves, when we give up certain civil liberties and betray our own values in the spurious belief that this will protect us from terrorism, organised crime, unwelcome immigration. Forms of dismantling civilisation might differ, but the result is the same.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: A human lifespan is less than a thousand months long. You need to make some A human lifespan is less than a thousand months long. You need to make some time to think how to live it.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Nowadays, by contrast, Christianity specialises in soft-focus mood music; its threats of hell, its demand Nowadays, by contrast, Christianity specialises in soft-focus mood music; its threats of hell, its demand for poverty and chastity, its doctrine that only the few will be saved and the many damned, have been shed, replaced by strummed guitars and saccharine smiles. It has reinvented itself so often, and with such breath-taking hypocrisy, in the interests of retaining its hold on the gullible, that a medieval monk who woke today, like Woody Allen in Sleeper, would not be able to recognise the faith that bears the same name as his own.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: When I was 14 a chaplain at school gave me a reading list. I read When I was 14 a chaplain at school gave me a reading list. I read everything and I went back to him with a question: how can you really believe in this stuff?
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Religion and science have a common ancestor - ignorance. Religion and science have a common ancestor - ignorance.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: It takes a certain ingenuous faith - but I have it - to believe that It takes a certain ingenuous faith - but I have it - to believe that people who read and reflect more likely than not come to judge things with liberality and truth.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: It is useful to remember the classical Greeks' attitude to moral failure: in their view It is useful to remember the classical Greeks' attitude to moral failure: in their view it is like taking aim at a target, and missing; it is a bad shot; what you must do is aim again, and do better. In other moral regimes failure is a blemish, a stain that remains, culpable and in need of grace or forgiveness from an outside source. In the classical view, the remedy and improvement is as much the individual's responsibility as the mistake was in the first place.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: People should be left to believe what they like, so long as they harm no People should be left to believe what they like, so long as they harm no one else. Apart from normal expectations of politeness, it is not however clear why people should require their personal beliefs to be treated with special sensitivity by others, to the point that if others fail to tip-toe respectfully around them they will start throwing bombs.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: The best of what we are lies in what we hope to be The best of what we are lies in what we hope to be
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Just as modern motorways have no room for ox-carts or wandering pedestrians, so modern society Just as modern motorways have no room for ox-carts or wandering pedestrians, so modern society has little place for lives and ways that are too eccentric.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Religions survive mainly because they brainwash the young. Religions survive mainly because they brainwash the young.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: How things are in the world is a matter of complete indifference to what is How things are in the world is a matter of complete indifference to what is higher. God does not reveal himself in the world' (T
A.C. Grayling Sayings: It is always a mistake to underestimate how long it takes for mankind to understand It is always a mistake to underestimate how long it takes for mankind to understand the traumas it has suffered, especially the self-inflicted ones.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: And I say, the meaning of life is what you make it. There will be And I say, the meaning of life is what you make it. There will be as many different meaningful lives as there are people to live them.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Therefore, encourage and toughen your mind against the mishaps that afflict even the most powerful Therefore, encourage and toughen your mind against the mishaps that afflict even the most powerful and the most successful,
For accident and illness can in a moment take away all that was built over many years.
So I declare to you: he is lord of your life that scorns his own. Be the lord of your own life therefore, by not fearing to lose it.
Since the day we were born we are being led towards the day we die: in the interim let us be courageous, and do good things.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Everybody is entitled to believe. Churches have exactly the same right to exist as a Everybody is entitled to believe. Churches have exactly the same right to exist as a football club, a trade union or a political party. But if you and I set up the Church of the Fairies of the Garden, then I don't think we should automatically be meeting the queen, be entitled to seats in the House of Lords or get public money for our fairy schools.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Nothing is truly unnatural, because everything that exists, including human intelligence, is a product of Nothing is truly unnatural, because everything that exists, including human intelligence, is a product of nature. If human intelligence can devise ways for the genes from two men to result in a child, their doing so is an entirely natural event.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Nationalism as a thesis confuses (almost always deliberately) certain legitimate desires with illegitimate ones. People Nationalism as a thesis confuses (almost always deliberately) certain legitimate desires with illegitimate ones. People like to run their own affairs, and most people value the culture they were raised in, are proud of its achievements and wish it well; a significant degree of their sense of personal and group identity derives from it. All this is unexceptionable. But nationalists try to persuade their fellows that the existence of other groups and cultures somehow represents a challenge, and sometimes a threat, to what the natives of the home culture value. (From: Toward the Light of Liberty)
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Behave in life as at a dinner party. Is anything brought around to you? Put Behave in life as at a dinner party. Is anything brought around to you? Put out your hand and take your share with moderation. Does it pass by you?
Do not stop it. Is it not yet come? Do not stretch your desire towards it, but wait till it reaches you. Do this with regard to children, to a spouse, to public post, to riches, and you will eventually be a worthy guest at the feast of life.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: The media no longer hesitate to whip up lurid anxieties in order to increase sales, The media no longer hesitate to whip up lurid anxieties in order to increase sales, in the process undermining social confidence and multiplying fears.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: If there is a deity of the kind imagined by votaries of the big mail-order If there is a deity of the kind imagined by votaries of the big mail-order religions such as Christianity and Islam, and if this deity is the creator of all things, then it is responsible for cancer, meningitis, millions of spontaneous abortions everyday, mass killings of people in floods and earthquakes-and too great mountain of other natural evils to list besides. It would also,as the putative designer of human nature, ultimately be responsible or the ubiquitous and unbeatable human propensities for hatred, malice, greed, and all other sources of the cruelty and murder people inflict on each other hourly.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Socrates famously said that the unconsidered life is not worth living. He meant that a Socrates famously said that the unconsidered life is not worth living. He meant that a life lived without forethought or principle is a life so vulnerable to chance, and so dependent on the choices and actions of others, that it is of little real value to the person living it. He further meant that a life well lived is one which has goals, and integrity, which is chosen and directed by the one who lives it, to the fullest extent possible to a human agent caught in the webs of society and history.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Do not regret having lived, but while yet living live in a way that allows Do not regret having lived, but while yet living live in a way that allows you to think that you were not born in vain.
And do not regret that you must die: it is what all who are wise must Wish, to have life end at its proper time.
For nature puts a limit to living as to everything else,
And we are the sons and daughters of nature, and for us therefore the sleep of nature is nature's final kindness
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Sensible Catholics have for generations been ignoring the views on contraception held by reactionary old Sensible Catholics have for generations been ignoring the views on contraception held by reactionary old men in the Vatican, but alas, since it is the business of all religious doctrines to keep their votaries in a state of intellectual infancy (how else do they keep absurdities seeming credible?), insufficient numbers of Catholics have been able to be sensible.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Science is the outcome of being prepared to live without certainty and therefore a mark Science is the outcome of being prepared to live without certainty and therefore a mark of maturity. It embraces doubt and loose ends.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: . . .the most important philosophical question we can each ask ourselves is, 'Do I . . .the most important philosophical question we can each ask ourselves is, 'Do I or do I not wish to commit suicide?' If we say, 'No I do not,' as most of us would, it is because we have reasons for living, or at the very least real hope that we can find such reasons. Then the next question is: what are the reasons I personally have for saying 'No' to that question? The answer contains the meaning of my life.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Mastery of the emotions is fundamental to a virtuous life. Mastery of the emotions is fundamental to a virtuous life.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: I despise people who depend on these things [heroin and cocaine]. If you really want I despise people who depend on these things [heroin and cocaine]. If you really want a mind-altering experience, look at a tree.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: Future generations may or may not judge Wittgenstein to be one of the great philosophers. Future generations may or may not judge Wittgenstein to be one of the great philosophers. Even if they do not, however, he is sure always to count as one of the great personalities of philosophy. From our perspective it is easy to mistake one for the other; which he is time will tell.
A.C. Grayling Sayings: For the grace of bearing life's inevitable evils is itself agood, and makes goodness arise For the grace of bearing life's inevitable evils is itself a
good, and makes goodness arise even from evils by
opposing them or enduring them with courage.